Karaoke War – Soi Buakhao



The Director Billy Wilder paints a paean to fading glory in this 1950 film. Young writer and ancient femme fatale joined in a tragic menage a trois with fame for the fantastic ending choreographed by John F. Seitz’s cinematography. Gloria Swanson charging the camera. “All right, Mr DeMille, I’m ready for my close up.”

Not a happy ending for the hero, William Holden, and neither were smiling faces evident on Soi Beokeow slightly after dawn on Thursday.

A fire had devoured the Dai-eji Karaoke Bar. Customers fled the flames. No one was hurt, but the police were informed that this conflagration was the end result of a fight between the Dai-Eji Karaoke Bar and the nearby New Boys Karaoke Bar.

Causa belli?

A rivalry over an older woman client.

How old?

No one was saying, but words escalated to guns and Molotov cocktails faster than a showdown between Texas prison gangs. I’ve lived near a karaoke bar and seen the young boys going with women the age of Cleopatra. So old they fart dust. But they pay the young boys or poo-chai-kai-tua big money. 1500 baht short-time, which is why the singing Romeos vie for their affection. Of course it could be for love.

As Norma Desmond said in SUNSET BOULEVARD. “I am big. It’s the pictures that got small!”

The karaoke crassanovas can only wish someone said something that profound, instead of, “Tao-arai?”

“How much?”

Then again they aren’t Joe Kennedy’s mistress like Gloria Swanson was for many years.

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